5 Greek Islands To Explore This Summer & Where To Stay - The Gloss Magazine

5 Greek Islands To Explore This Summer & Where To Stay

Avoiding the crowds while seeing the ancient sites of Greece isn’t easy. But it can be done with some savvy planning by visiting some lesser known islands, where luxurious stays and gourmet experiences are still guaranteed. Here’s part one of the Glossy Guide to Greece…


Who holidays here? Supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, as well as Hollywood stars Richard Gere and Pierce Brosnan.

Discerning jet-setters are drawn to Patmos’ rugged terrain, hillsides and white-washed chapels. Famously, Patmos was the place Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation. It’s not just for pilgrims though. In recent years Patmos has built on its culinary clout, with natural wine bar-cum-restaurant Éla! leading the way. It’s run by a native New Yorker, Tess Gruenberg and her partner Will Saap, who says, “We try to make every evening the best dinner party you’ve ever been to.” Located in the north of the island, this unassuming olive tree-shaded wooden deck is a place where diners can enjoy food prepared at the adjoining outdoor kitchen. That’s enough incentive for me!

Where to stay: Pagostas

Managed by husband and wife team Gregoris Kambouroglou and Maria Lemos, this pretty guesthouse comprises three rooms, a secret garden and a roof terrace with views of the sea. It is inspired by the Greek idea of philoxenia – welcoming guests into your home. The owners worked with interior designer Leda Athanasopoulou on the minimalist decor which juxtaposes ornate antique pieces with embroidered cushions from the island and other local ceramics. www.pagostas.com


Who holidays here? Aesthetes and oenophiles.

As the birthplace of Epicurus, good food and wine are guaranteed on this island. Mathematicians may know it as the home of mathematical mastermind Pythagoras who has a namesake town, Pythagorio, on the island. Of note is the archeaological site where the Temple of Hera once stood; oenophiles can visit vineyards which produce the island’s celebrated sweet Muscat wines. Tsamoudu Beach is one of the most beautiful on the island where sun beds and parasols can be rented for as little as €5 – much more reasonable than hotspots Santorini or Mykonos. 

Where to stay: Casa Cook

This adults-only 128-room boutique hotel is conveniently situated about a five-minute drive from the airport. Its USP is for laidback luxury; rooms are decorated in earthy colours reflecting the landscape. Choose from a Timeless Classic or a Swim-up Suite (yes, a pool to your room!). There are six swimming pools on the property all surrounded by sun loungers (cocktails and mellow DJ sets are additional details). There’s a local beach nearby though many guests come for the hotel’s wellness offerings, its spa and its programme of yoga classes. www.casacook.com


Who holidays here? The lit set – novelists such as Margaret Drabble, Rachel Billington, Martin Amis, Louise Doughty and Hanif Kureishi have all been.  

According to mythology Achilles holed up on this remote island before making tracks to Troy. The island’s main feature is its rugged landscape, ideal for nature-based pursuits from hiking the hillside carving trails, to snorkelling in the turquoise waters, and stumbling upon secluded beaches or coming across Skyros’ indigenous miniature horses. Visit Kastro, a hilltop Byzantine castle and Brooke Square which pays tribute to the English war poet Rupert Brooke. If Magazia, Molos and Gyrismata are its main seaside resorts, the island’s best kept secrets are its sea caves (with stalactites) which can be accessed with boat tours that take also visitors to the island of Sarakino and its beautiful beach of Glyfada. 

Where to stay: Aleró Seaside Skyros Resort

This beachfront boutique hotel ticks all the “castaway” boxes – and the resort takes its rugged, natural surroundings as inspiration for its sustainability initiatives and decor. Furniture and fabrics are made from organic materials and the grounds are landscaped with native plants. Each family-friendly suite has its own plunge pool and terrace, so privacy is guaranteed. Dine on the sun-dappled terrace of its Amerissa restaurant where breakfast is served (traditional tsoureki bread and Skyrian goats cheese are specialities). In the evening enjoy a Brooke’s Spritz (named after Rupert) an interesting mix of Athenian vermouth, cherry tomato, sweet mastiha liqueur and prosecco) before dining in the local tavernas such as Agios Petros or Stefanos, known for its seafood. www.alero.gr


Who holidays here? Scarlett Johansson, Margot Robbie, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

Pottery and food are to Sifnos what sunsets are to Santorini and parties are to Mykonos. The island also has an impressive number of churches (235) added to which are rocky beaches and hiking trails that link to the island’s outdoor museum archaeological sites and monasteries. Apollonia is the island capital but much prettier is the village of Artemoas (try one of its mezze tours) or Kastro.

Where to stay: Verina Astra

Guests stay in luxurious perches on a steep hill overlooking the Aegean Sea – suites have private terraces and there are some small independent villas. Other facilities include an amazing infinity pool area, inviting Elemis spa, fragrant gardens and a fine dining Bostani restaurant serving farm-to-table cuisine sourced from the island and the hotel’s vegetable garden. Guests can take part in Sifnian cookery classes organised at a nearby farm. Try local specialities at restaurants such as Cantina (serving chickpea fritters, slow-roasted lamb and goat’s cheese) or Omega3, Limanaki or Fyssas for seafood. www.verinahotelsifnos.com


Who holidays here? Athenian A-listers as well as Claudia Schiffer, Leonardo di Caprio and Paris Hilton.

Combining cosmopolitan style and natural beauty, the island has a glossy heritage. It was the backdrop of Aristotle Onassis and Jackie Kennedy’s relationship and the island has been home to other famous shipping tycoons such as Stavros Niarchos. 

It’s been called the “island of perfumes” or “Pityousa” which means “full of pine-trees” in ancient Greek. The car-free island is also known for its major contribution to the Greek War of Independence (the islanders provided supplies the the Greek navy). Enjoy a coffee in the popular Dapia Square which gives views of Porto Hali and Hydra, stock up on amygdolata (local almond sweets) from the island’s patisseries, discover more about the island’s history in the Spetses Museum and finish the day by savouring the sunset from Spetses Lighthouse. 

Where to stay: Poseidonion Grand Hotel

This architectural jewel has been a destination for high society since it opened in the early 20th century. Guests can opt to stay in its historic Belle Epoque wing ( a honeymooners delight, try the Cupola suite) or for families a Garden Room in the new wing. Dine at The Verandah, or at the glamorous Freud Oriental (which has a sister restaurant in Athens), for light snacks there’s the Library Bar. The Palm Terrace is the place to absorb the Saronic Gulf sunsets. The hotel’s Idolo Spa is a place to unleash your inner Aphrodite with plenty of pampering organic treatments. The smart deck pool is surrounded by lavender blossoms ensuring a very fragrant stay in all senses. www.poseidonion.com


All the usual great, glossy content of our large-format magazine in a neater style delivered to your door.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This